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Applications for the 2024 Juniper Young Writers programs are closed.

Our online and in-person curriculum is dynamic and community-building. We bring teens together who want to share their poetry and prose with others who are as passionate about writing as they are. We look for writers whose work shows curiosity and risk-taking, and who are eager to experiment with forms and ideas new to them, in the company of their creative peers. Our talented, devoted and empathetic instructors help motivated young writers take their creative work to the next level.

Upcoming Programming:

Program Date Cost Application Deadline
2024 Juniper Institute for Young Writers One-week: July 29–August 2, 2024; Two-week: July 29–August 9, 2024 $2,600 (1 wk), $4,950 (2 wk) March 7, 2024
2024 Juniper Young Writers Online August 5–August 9, 2024 $1,280 March 7, 2024

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Eligibility:

The Juniper Young Writers programs welcome rising sophomores through seniors to apply.

Juniper seeks creative students who are dedicated to exploring experimental writing processes and developing their skills in a collaborative environment. We encourage writers from diverse backgrounds, life experiences, and writing styles to apply.

We have one deadline this year for all of our Juniper Young Writers programs: March 7, 2024. All self-pay admission and scholarship consideration applications should be submitted by the end of the day, Eastern Time.

To apply for a scholarship, please submit your application by the deadline!

Application Process:

Applications are accepted online through Submittable only. Scholarship notifications and admissions decisions will be issued after the application deadline.

Application materials include:

  • Writing Sample: The strength and promise of the writing sample is the most important aspect of your application. It should be 3-5 pages of fiction (double-spaced; short stories and/or excerpts from longer pieces of writing are OK) or poetry (one poem per page, or longer poems spanning up to 5 total pages of poetry). Creative poetry or prose only; no academic essays or playwriting, please. Samples should be saved in one document (doc, docx, pdf, rtf, or txt). Please include your name & email address as a header or footer.

  • Writer's Statement: 300 to 500 words that describe your current writing projects and goals, any identities that inform your work, and what being a member of a writing community means to you. Tell us what you write and why you write it!

  • Recommendation Letter*: During the online application process, you will be asked to enter the email address and name of a teacher, educational consultant, professional tutor, or guidance counselor who has agreed to write a recommendation letter on your behalf. Once you submit your application, the reference will receive an email with instructions for how to submit their letter. Please let them know that their letter must be received for your application to be complete. Be sure to obtain permission from your reference before submitting their contact information in your application!

  • We do not accept extra materials such as test scores, financial disclosures, or multiple recommendation letters.

Scholarships:

Scholarship support is intended for those participants who cannot afford the full cost of the program. BIPOC and writers of marginalized groups are especially encouraged to apply for the available funding. Our scholarships are awarded based on the strength and promise of the application. We do not request financial information as part of our scholarship selection process. We plan to offer several full Juniper scholarships this summer for our one-week and two-week residential programs as well as our online program. To apply for scholarship consideration, under the "Scholarship consideration or self-pay?" question on the application, select "Please consider me for a scholarship." On average, 30% of our participants attend with funding each year.

Notification:

Please note that we cannot make offers of admission until we've received your recommendation letter. Admission to Juniper’s in-person program is competitive, and we have a limited number of available spots. Admission and scholarship awards are based on the strength and promise of the writing sample and the writer's statement. Applicants for the in-person Juniper Institute for Young Writers can indicate in their application if they would like to be considered for acceptance to the Juniper Young Writers Online program.

If a student is offered admission, enrollment in a Juniper Young Writers program is contingent on responding to email communications from Juniper and Pre-College @ UMass Amherst. Please add these email addresses to your contacts and check your junk/spam folders: notifications@submittable.com; juniper@umass.edu; juniperyoungwriters@hfa.umass.edu; summerprograms@umass.edu; precollege@umass.edu.

Admissions and scholarship award decisions will begin to be sent out in late March 2024. Your admissions offer will come to the email address provided on your application as a Submittable message. If you are offered admission to Juniper, you must email us within one week of notification to confirm your attendance. After one week, we will accept our next wave of applicants, and our program may fill to capacity quickly.

After Juniper collects pre-registration information, you will receive enrollment instructions from Summer Pre-College @ UMass Amherst. Families must pay a non-refundable $500 deposit within two weeks of enrollment to secure the student's space at Juniper. Full-scholarship awardees do not have to pay a deposit. The full balance of tuition is due by June 30 for all Juniper programs. Please visit this website for more information on the payment and cancellation policy, and please contact Summer Pre-College with any questions about enrollment and payment.

Apply now by clicking here

*For Teachers: Recommendation Letters

When a student is filling out their application, they will be prompted to send a recommendation letter request to their reference. The reference will receive an email from Submittable with instructions on how to submit the recommendation letter.

We ask our references to speak to the following qualities in the student in their recommendation letter:

  • Enthusiasm for creative writing
  • Interest in a pre-college experience
  • Maturity, interpersonal and collaborative skills
  • Classroom participation
  • Ability to adapt to a residential learning environment (for the in-person Juniper Institute for Young Writers)

Recommendation letters are due within seven days of application submission, and an application is not considered complete without a recommendation letter. Students are not able to view the recommendation letter on Submittable.